Alinari/Art Resource, NY

Like Robert E. Lee, Hannibal (c. 247–182 B.C.) was a brilliant general who fought for a lost cause. He led 35,000 troops (and 37 elephants) across the Alps and into Italy, where he spent a decade crushing Roman armies. Not even Hannibal, however, could overcome Rome’s endless resources. He retreated to Africa in 205 B.C., where he was later defeated by Scipio. Hannibal fled to Syria and then to Bithynia, where he waged war against Rome for another 20 years. When the king of Bithynia threatened to deport Hannibal to Rome in 182 B.C., the great Carthaginian general took his own life.